Brussels: A day after the European Union asked India to ‘respect’ the Vienna convention, the bloc on Tuesday warned New Delhi against preventing the Italy’s Ambassador from leaving the country over refusal by Rome to allow the Italian marines charged with killing two Indian fishermen stand trial for homicide.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton noted the Indian court`s ruling about the Ambassador "with concern", Ashton`s spokesman said.
The EU stressed that the 1961 Vienna Convention, which sets rules for diplomatic relations, as a cornerstone of the international legal order that should be respected at all times.
"Any limitations to the freedom of movement of the Ambassador of Italy to India would be contrary to the international obligations established under this convention," the spokesman added.
"(Ashton) continues to hope that a mutually acceptable solution can be found through dialogue and in respect of international rules and encourages the parties to explore all avenues to that effect," the statement said.
The statement was the bloc`s most forceful intervention yet in the festering dispute over the marines which has soured relations between India and EU member Italy.
Yesterday, EU spokesman Michael Mann said EU had taken cognizance of the Supreme Court ruling and was observing the situation.
Importantly, Mann said that India will have to respect the Vienna convention and the diplomatic immunity granted to Italian envoy Daniele Mancini.
“It is imperative that India respects the Vienna convention”, he said.
Also, Italy`s foreign ministry on Monday had asserted that the Indian court`s decision violated diplomatic immunity law.
The Supreme Court last week temporarily barred the envoy, Daniele Mancini, from leaving after Rome refused to send the marines back to India to face trial following a home visit.
The marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, part of a security team protecting a tanker from pirates, are accused of shooting the two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February last year.
The Supreme Court of India, yesterday, ruled that the Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini will not leave India till further orders.
The action follows Rome`s refusal to send back the two Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone to face trial for killing two Indian fishermen, Ajesh Binki and Valentine, off the Kerala coast Feb 15, 2012, mistaking them for pirates.
The court will hear the case next April 2. India and Italy are locked in a huge diplomatic row over the issue.
The court while extending its earlier order restraining Mancini from leaving the country said the Italian envoy has lost its trust and does not have diplomatic immunity.